Hospitality urges MPs to support motion calling for beer duty freeze
Industry and consumer groups are urging MPs to support a new motion in Parliament to freeze beer duty ahead of the March Budget.
Beer Tax hikes are now set to reach 42% since the Budget of March 2008, when the discredited "escalator" policy was introduced by the previous government. Set at 2% above inflation, this year's tax hike could be over 5%, putting up to 10p on a pub pint.
An Early Day Motion calling for a rethink on new massive hikes in beer tax has been welcomed by the groups, following a recent report that revealed the importance of the beer industry to the UK economy.
Around 300,000 16- to 24-year-olds depend on the sector for employment, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) commissioned report published by Oxford Economics last week.
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds called on MPs to support the motion. "Beer is Britain's favourite pub drink - a UK product that creates jobs and keeps thousands of pubs in business," she said. "If we get a tax freeze in the Budget, we could create and protect 16,000 jobs in the next three years alone."
The BBPA, Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) and the Society of Independent brewers (SIBA) said that, with so many young people employed in the hospitality sector, pubs could be an engine for growth and create new jobs for young people, but only if the Government called time on "job-destroying beer tax rises" in the Budget.
Mike Benner, Camra chief executive, said that Camra's 135,000 members were today contacting their local MPs, asking them to send a clear message to the chancellor that enough was enough. Supporters of the campaign can contact their own MP by visiting the Camra website.
Julian Grocock, chief executive of SIBA, added: "Our plea is for MPs to support this motion for a policy change, to reinvest in Great British beer and pubs so they can recover their vital role in the social life of the communities that make up this country.
"Only thus will we be able to reassert the values of a responsible drinking culture; and only thus will these proud and iconic industries remain strong enough to fulfil their commitment to making a fair and sustainable contribution to the national economy."
SIBA warns thriving brewers threatened by Government's beer taxation policy >>
BBPA sends MPs message in a bottle to highlight high tax on beer >>
Brakspear pubs to hold tax-free beer day in Henley >>
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
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